Separate Girl Scout troops deliver encouraging notes, tiny onesies to cheer patients at TMC

Girl scout notesWhen Girl Scouts Jenna Ahrendt and Megan Smith of Troop 475 recently took to Tucson’s streets to leave sticky notes with positive, encouraging messages all over town, their first stop was Tucson’s nonprofit community hospital, Tucson Medical Center.

The small gesture went over in a big way when pediatric patients at TMC for Children and TMC’s pediatric Emergency Department began to see the pink, 3-inch-by-3-inch notes with kind and supportive memos.

“Believe in yourself!”

“You have someone who cares.”

“You are an inspiration!”

“Sentiments like this can have a wonderful impact on children who are anxious or frightened about a hospital stay,” said Heather Roberts, MSW, CCLS, the Child Life supervisor at TMC for Children. “It might seem like just a few words on a pink post-it, but it really helps us put a smile on those faces.”

Experts, physicians, and parents know it can be a challenge to bring a smile to sick children –  for Jenna and Megan it only required colored parchment, a sharpie and heart.

“They wanted to do something for the community, to spread positivity.” said Troop leader Becki Ahrendt. “I asked where we would put them and they said, ‘Everywhere!’”

GirlScoutsWithTieDyeDonations.jpgMeanwhile, 8-year-old Annabella Carpenter and 7-year-old Mary Redding of Troop 908 worked over the summer to tie dye nearly 80 onesies for babies born prematurely and recovering in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at TMC.

Mary, born at TMC, was treated as a newborn for jaundice in the NICU. And both girls experienced the unit last year when a friend of the family had twins who came early and spent time recovering there before the whole family went home.

The girls made the babies some tie-dyed onesies, made after Annabella received a tie-dye kit last year and started experimenting. The onesies for the twins were such a hit with the mom and the staff, the girls decided to use a part of their cookie profits to expand the effort.

“We wanted to congratulate them for being strong,” Annabella said. “And the babies will be happy to have something warm to wear when they go home,” echoed Mary.

Chief Nursing Officer, Marketing Manager go “Over the Edge” for the Girl Scouts

Four questions with TMC’s Chief Nursing Officer Mimi Coomler and Marketing Manager Tim Bentley on supporting the Girl Scouts by rappelling 17 stories from the 5151 E. Broadway Boulevard Office Tower on Saturday, March 24:

  1. What speaks to you about the Girl Scouts?

Coomler: The Girl Scouts is amazing at empowering young girls – and I support them so they can help more and more girls find their own center and their own power. My 7-year-old daughter is a Girl Scout so I’ve seen firsthand the great work they do.

Bentley:  I like their drive to instill confidence in girls at a young age. As a former high school coach for cross country and track, I truly believe that young people – especially girls – set themselves on a path to be successful by gaining confidence at a pivotal age.

2. Have you rappelled before?

Coomler: I haven’t, but I’m always up for an adventure!

Bentley: One time at a rock climbing gym. It was a 20-foot wall and all the young kids cheered me on when I did it. :/

3. What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

Coomler: I did the tango in front of 500 people to the tune of Sweet Caroline to raise money for the Diaper Bank. That was way out of my comfort zone.

Bentley: I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane years ago – with a parachute of course. I’m assuming the step off the building will be similar to the step out of the airplane. Although, I’m hoping my answer will be different this time –

Parachute Instructor: “Ready, GO!”

Me (looking down 5,000 feet): “You mean, right now??!?”

  • 4. What’s the most important lesson young girls should learn?

Coomler: Dream Big! When I was little, we said, “Girls can do anything they want to.” Now, it is more a reality than ever. Find your voice, find your dream and go for it.

Bentley:  It’s OK for girls to be smart, it’s OK for girls to be successful and it’s OK for girls to be recognized for their accomplishments. Don’t ever downplay them.  And as a track coach, it’s always OK for the girls to be faster than the boys. I always told the girls #BeFierce #BeStrong #BeBrave

Rather than directly sponsoring Tim or Mimi to go over the edge, we encourage donations to the Girl Scouts of TEAM G.I.R.L. who will also be going over the edge on Saturday to support their Girl Scout sisters here in Southern Arizona.


Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461